Chutney is really easy to make. You don’t need to worry about setting points or pectin or anything tricky. You basically just chop up the veg you have and boil it up with some sugar, vinegar and spices until is starts to break down and reduces by about half of the original volume.
I usually work off a master recipe of 2KG vegetables to 500ml vinegar and 250-350g sugar. However, it does depend a bit on the ingredients you are using. For the recipe below I’m including a tin of tomatoes (which have lots of acidity) so I’ve reduced the vinegar to 400ml. There are lots of natural sugars in the fruit and veg (apples, carrots, onions) so I’m using the lower amount of sugar (250g). You can taste towards the end and if you think it needs a little more sugar or even a bit more aciditiy then add some in. If I was using blander vegetables; marrows or courgettes, cauliflower or celeriac for example, I’d use the higher amount of sugar and vinegar (or add in some dried fruit instead of some of the sugar), equally if I was making a tomato chutney then I’d reduce the vinegar a bit more. It is important to make sure you have enough acidity as this is what preserves the chutney.
Spiced Apple Chutney
Makes 5 or 6 x 450g jars
You can easily double or even quadruple this recipe if you have a big enough pan!
700g apples – weigh once peeled and chopped
One tin of tomatoes
500g carrots (grated)
20g ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 red chilli, sliced (optional)
250g granulated sugar
400ml cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground cloves
Peel, grate and chop all the chutney vegetables, leaving the apples until last. Peel and chop the apples into a bowl with the cider vinegar to stop them going brown.
Put all the ingredients in a large pan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat to medium- high and allow it to bubble away until the volume is reduced by about half and the chutney is thick and glossy. A spoon drawn along the bottom of the pan should leave a clean trail (i.e. it doesn’t fill with liquid). If the pan gets a bit dry, but you don’t think the consistency is quite right, add in 100-150ml water and keep cooking.
Put into sterilised jars and store for a couple of weeks if possible before eating. Good with cheese & crackers or in a cheese sandwich. My amazing friend Clare recently put some in her cheesy sausage rolls. It’s also a great local alternative to mango chutney if you serve it with a curry!